Evaluation of the ndis final Report Kostas Mavromaras, Megan Moskos, Stéphane Mahuteau, Linda Isherwood


The NDIS Disability Support Providers Surveys



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The NDIS Disability Support Providers Surveys


The first wave of this survey was completed early in 2015 and is fully described in the Initial Report. A brief summary is provided below:

  • Extensive work towards locating disability support providers (from the full NDIA register, the NILS register and additional web and telephone searches) yielded a large number of organisations, but a much lower than expected number of self-employed providers.

  • The first wave of the providers’ surveys had a very low response rate by workers, a moderately low rate by organisations and a satisfactory response rate by self-employed support providers.

  • Linking workers with outlets indicated that several organisations did not provide any information at all through their workers, while several other organisations provided information through their workers, but did not themselves return their organisational questionnaire.

The second wave of providers’ surveys fieldwork was completed in October 2017 but challenges in this data collection were experienced, especially in regards with the workers questionnaires where response rates were extremely low. Our understanding about the sector’s very different wave 1 and 2 responses are explained in the caveats section at the end of the Introduction. In practical terms this low response rate makes comparisons between waves 1 and 2 less precise and in some instances statistically unreliable. In contrast the qualitative evidence stemming from interviews with providers has been rich and provides much detail as to the impact of the NDIS on the disability sector and its workforce. Chapter 3 presents the findings relating to the disability sector and, as a result of these issues, relies more heavily than initially designed on the qualitative evidence collected. This qualitative evidence highlights the current unsettled nature of the disability sector. Furthermore, it explains in part why providers would find it difficult in this period of considerable change to focus on a survey that looks into the future of the sector when in many individual cases the present is so uncertain.

The Qualitative Impact Evaluation


The Qualitative Impact Evaluation (QIE) consisted of a number of in-depth interviews with:

  • NDIS participants and, their families and carers

  • disability service providers

  • disability workforce stakeholder organisations

  • NDIA managers and staff

  • non-NDIS participants.

These interviews collected impressions and assessments of the progress and achievements of the implementation of the NDIS. With the consent of participants, each interview was recorded. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using NVIVO. The analysis of the interview data was informed by both deductive and inductive strategies. An initial coding scheme was developed that reflected the initial KEQs of the evaluation. This was subsequently amended and elaborated to reflect the evolving themes and sub-themes that emerged in a careful reading and re-reading of the interview transcripts. To protect respondents' identities pseudonyms are used in all references in this report.

1.7.1 Interviews with NDIS participants, and their carers


Interviews were conducted with sixty-two NDIS participants, and their carers in the five trial sites. The interviews targeted people who had already moved into the NDIS and commenced or completed the NDIS plan preparation and implementation. Recruitment for the interviews sought people with a range of disabilities, including about a third who were living with a developmental condition, a quarter experiencing a neurological or brain condition, and a fifth living with an intellectual disability. Wave 1 interviews were conducted between August 2014 and February 2015, preceded by a pilot phase conducted in August 2014. Each interview typically lasted between 1 and 1.5 hours. Most interviews were undertaken face-to-face and at the respondent’s home.

A second round of interviews with these NDIS participants and carers was conducted between August 2015 and February 2016. Six respondents (five in NSW and one in VIC) who had taken part in wave 1 were unable to participate in wave 2. Replacements were found for all six respondents, matched as closely as possible for age and disability type. Two NDIS participants and their carers in SA and ACT were unable to participate in a full interview in wave 2 due to their time constraints; these participants instead provided brief information by phone and were not replaced due to oversampling in these trial sites in wave 1.


1.7.2 Interviews with disability service providers


Interviews were conducted with five NDIA-registered disability service providers in each of the trial sites between September and November 2014. Interviews were undertaken with employers of Pay As You Go (PAYG) workers, brokered workers and self-employed sole providers. Selective sampling ensured that the types of disability service providers interviewed, broadly reflected the characteristics of the types of disability services provided in each trial site. Providers varied in size and were operating primarily in the trial state.

A second interview with a representative from each of the original disability service providers interviewed in wave 1 was conducted between September and December 2015. One disability service provider was unable to be contacted to be interviewed in wave 2.


1.7.3 Interviews with disability workforce stakeholder organisations


Senior personnel of fifteen disability workforce stakeholder organisations were interviewed between September and December 2014. The organisations represented a range of occupations and workforces supporting people with disability.

A follow-up interview with a representative from each of the original disability workforce stakeholder organisations was conducted between September and December 2015. One disability workforce stakeholder organisation declined to participate in the second round of interviews due to pre-existing commitments and limited involvement in the NDIS.


1.7.4 Interviews with NDIA managers and staff


Forty-six NDIA staff across the five trial sites were interviewed between October 2014 and April 2015, including managerial and operational staff, and practitioners. A second interview with thirty-nine of these NDIA staff were conducted between October 2015 and May 2016. Of the original wave 1 sample, three NDIA staff had left the agency and were unable to be contacted, two had left the trial site and felt they had little to comment, and two chose not to participate.

1.7.5 Interviews with non-NDIS participants


Not all people eligible for the NDIS join and in addition not all people with disability who apply to join the NDIS are found to be eligible. Therefore, it was of central importance that the evaluation also inquired about the impact of the NDIS on people with disability who had not joined.

Interviews were conducted with 16 people with disability who were not participating in the NDIS. The interviews targeted people with disability who:



  • had been determined eligible for joining the NDIS but had chosen not to do so; or

  • were not eligible for the NDIS and hence were not participating. This included people supported under the NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) component (previously also known as Tier 2 of the NDIS).

To be included in the evaluation, people were required to be living in an NDIS trial site. They were also required to possess similar characteristics to the population that was eligible in their trial site although the type or severity of their disability may have made them ineligible for the NDIS (except for the ILC component).

Interviews with non-NDIS participants sought to learn about and understand:



  • the context that led to non-participation in the NDIS and, if applicable, the reasoning and rationale for non-participation;

  • current satisfaction with disability supports, including perceptions or experiences attributable to the NDIS;

  • the experience and contact (if any) of non-participants with the NDIS; and

  • any issues about disability supports and the NDIS that concern non-participants.

Respondents had a broad range of disabilities, with the largest subgroup (n=7) being people identifying as having a psychosocial disability. The sample included children, young people and adults. Pilot interviews were conducted in August 2014, and the main fieldwork occurred between September 2015 and February 2016. Each interview lasted 45 minutes on average. Most interviews were undertaken face-to-face and at the respondent’s home.


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